Playing Golf- Improper Form Leading to Injury

Golf is a strenuous sport on numerous joints throughout the body. This is due to the high impact on the ball, the quick acceleration/deceleration forces associated with swing, the pivot forces on your legs, and the rotational forces on your cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Factors that can contribute to golf swing injuries:
• Overuse and over practice
• Poor swing mechanics
• Over swinging
• Improper warm up
• Rotational stresses associated with swing
• Improper set up/grip/club length
• Poor posture

If you continue to have pain while playing golf or are unable to play due to pain, please contact Harbor Physical Therapy for an evaluation. HPT will determine the cause of your discomfort and educate you on how to prevent a re occurrence.

Common Injuries At the Gym

1. Muscle Strain– There are different degrees of muscle strains from a minor overstretching injury to a tear. To avoid muscle strains, make sure you warm up appropriately and do not lift more weight than you can handle.

2. Tendonitis-is caused by a repetitive strain to the tendon of the muscle. If you overwork a muscle, you can develop tendonitis.

3. Bursitis– is inflammation to the bursa. A Bursa is a fluid filled sac that provides decrease friction and helps to give a fluid movement to the joint. Avoid doing the same exercises all the time; change it up to avoid overuse of one particular area.

4. Back injury– due to placing increase stress on your back muscles with exercises. Avoid forward bent over postures at the gym. Bend with your knees and tighten your abdominal muscles during exercises. This will help decrease the likelihood of a back injury.

5. Shoulder impingement injury– can occur when you overuse the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscle can rub against the top part of the shoulder blade, producing pain. Avoid overhead weighted exercises.

If you experience pain while you are working out, you should stop and apply ice. If the pain persists for more than 3 days, contact your physician or your local physical therapist at Harbor Physical Therapy.

How to Use a Foam Roller

When using a foam roller to decrease muscle pain/tightness, place it on the tender muscle.  Roll the whole length of the muscle until you find a tender point.  Spend 20-60 seconds on the tender point.  You can either hold the foam roller over the tender point using your body weight or you can gentle slowly roll over the area.  Spend no more than 5 minutes on a muscle.  Be careful not to spend too long on one specific area because it can cause increased pain and bruising.

High density foam roller

What Are The Benefits of Kinesiotape?


Kinesiotape is a 100% elastic tape with a breathable design, developed in 1970s and introduced clinically in mid-1990s. Kinesiotape has the ability to be stretched to certain levels of tension depending on the purpose of each particular taping technique. Kinesiotape is non-constrictive, providing support and stability while still allowing a muscle or joint to move through a normal range of motion.  To learn about the benefits of Kinesiotape for an injury, check out below:

Kinesiotape Usage



What is Dry Needling?

What is dry needling?

  • Dry needling is a treatment involving a thin needle, used to target a painful trigger point.  A trigger point is a painful muscle “knot” that can limit normalized movement and make every day tasks painful and difficult.

How does it work?

  • The therapist feels for the trigger point and then inserts the needle. The needle helps to release the tightness, stimulate blood flow, and promote relaxation to the aggravated muscle.

Is it like acupuncture?

  • Though both treatments use a thin needle, the dry needling treatment tends to be deeper.  Humans have thick, large muscles and if needed the needle can go as deep as those large muscles and be quite uncomfortable.  Where acupuncture treatment tends to be more skin level and cause less discomfort.  There is no medicine used in the dry needling treatment, it is not an injection.  The treatment can be uncomfortable and painful at times but is generally tolerated well.  The therapist is always present and monitoring patient symptoms.  The therapist will talk you through what to expect before deciding if this is an appropriate treatment for you.

How long does it last?

  • Dry needling is one possible treatment option to be used in conjunction with massage, exercise, heat/ice to help manage pain.  Results can vary from person to person and can range from very short term (hours-days) to more permanent effects.  Generally, no more than 3-4 treatments will be done if no positive results are obtained.

How much does this cost?

  • Dry needling treatment is covered by most health insurance plans.

Should I try dry needling?

  • Dry needling can be helpful in treatment of conditions such as: myofascial pain, tension headaches, fibromyalgia, IT band syndrome, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, and chronic neck and back pain.  Talk to your therapist if you think this could be a helpful treatment for you.  Do not consider dry needling if you have a fear of needles, are pregnant, immunocompromised or have systemic infections.

    Dry Needling
    Dry Needling

The Real Weight of Obesity: What It’s Really Doing to Your Body

Obesity is a complex health disorder in which excess weight gain puts an individual at high risk for osteoarthritis and several life-threatening medical conditions. Although the obesity epidemic is currently affecting millions of Americans across the country, each person’s battle with obesity begins right at home with personal lifestyle choices.

Contributors to obesity include:

  • Diet including intake of high-calorie foods
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Genetics (to an extent)
  • Some illnesses
  • Lack of sleep
  • Certain medication use (such as steroids)

Effects of obesity may include (but are not limited to):

  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoarthritis – breakdown of cartilage between bones
  • Diabetes
  • Difficulty sleeping and breathing problems
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Depression and social isolation
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Increased healthcare-related costs

Step-by-step on how to Fight Obesity:

  1. Drink lots of water! Keep your body hydrated throughout the day.
  2. Eat right! Fill your diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins; avoid foods with processed sugar and high animal fat content.
  3. Get active! Even a daily 10-minute walk can help. Challenge yourself by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  4. Stay active! The Physical Activity Guidelines for America recommends at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week to stay heart healthy and to add 2 additional days of strength training.
  5. Stay motivated! Find friends or family to share your experience with. Weight loss is a marathon not a sprint, losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy pace.

**Remember!! Every pound lost is a success! Small amounts of weight loss have been shown to have substantial benefits including reducing knee and hip pain from arthritis, increasing blood flow through the body and heart, and improving overall quality of life!

Medicare 2016 Physical Therapy Cap Information

The physical therapy cap limit for 2016 is as follows:

1. The first cap is $1,960
2. The second cap is $3,700

After you reach the first cap, your physical therapist must convey medical necessity of continued physical therapy services in the medical documentation. As long as continued physical therapy is considered medically necessary by Medicare, further physical therapy treatment will be covered by Medicare. The physical therapy cap restarts in 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact Harbor Physical Therapy at 443-524-0442.

Thanksgiving Survival Tips for Injury Prevention

  • When creating your Thanksgiving meal, take several sitting breaks. Your legs and back will need some rest during the hours of food preparation, cooking, and baking.
  • Be careful when bending to get dishes into and out of the oven. Thanksgiving turkey and side dishes can be quite heavy. Use your legs to lift versus your back. Pull dishes as close to your body as possible before attempting to lift. This will help save your back!
  • Split up the clean dishes into smaller piles before trying to lift them into kitchen cabinets. This will limit strain to your arms and shoulders versus trying to lift a large stack of plates.

Sit to Stand Exercise

Do you ever want to give your therapist a standing ovation, but are unable to? Well the sit to stand exercise is a good exercise to strengthen the muscles in the abdomen and thighs to help with this activity. With improved strength comes improved balance and overall function. Here’s the proper way to perform the exercise:

1. Sit in middle or toward front of chair with your knees bent and feet flat on floor.

2. Slightly lean forward with your head and shoulders, while simultaneously lifting you buttocks from the chair. Use your hands as little as possible (or not at all, if you can)

3. Keep your back straight as you come up, so that you feel your abdominal/low back muscles do the work.

4. Slowly sit back down.

5. Keep back and shoulders straight throughout exercise.

6. Repeat. A good number to shoot for would be 5-10 repetitions.

The goal is to be able to increase your reps and require less use of hands as you become stronger.
Sit to Stand